Baccano! (バッカーノ! Bakkāno! , Italian ruckus) (Italian pronunciation: [bakˈkaːno]) is a Japanese light novel series written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Katsumi Enami. The series, often told from multiple points of view, is mostly set within a fictional United States during various time periods, most notably the Prohibition-era. It focuses on various people, including alchemists, thieves, thugs, Mafiosi and Camorristi, who are unconnected to one another. After animmortality elixir is recreated in 1930 Manhattan, the characters begin to cross paths, setting off events that spiral further and further out of control. The first novel, The Rolling Bootlegs, was originally entered into the ninth Dengeki Novel Prize held by ASCII Media Works (formerly MediaWorks) in 2002, placing third to win the Gold Prize. The novel was released in February 2003 under ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint, and as of June 20, 2011, sixteen novels have been released.
The novels were adapted into a sixteen episode anime series directed by Takahiro Omori and produced by Brain's Base and Aniplex. The first thirteen episodes were aired on WOWOW from July 26, 2007 to November 1, 2007; the final three were released direct-to-DVD. Eight DVD compilations were released from October 24, 2007 to May 28, 2008. An English language release was licensed by Funimation Entertainment on July 21, 2008, and four DVD compilations were released from January 27, 2009 to June 16, 2009, and a complete collection boxset was released December 27, 2009. The series was also adapted into a two-volume manga, published in MediaWorks' Dengeki Comic Gao! magazine from December 27, 2006 to February 27, 2008. An additional novel was released with the first drama CD and two gaiden novels were released in parts with DVDs of the anime adaption. An adventure game for the Nintendo DS and two drama CDs were also created for the series.
Aboard the ship Advenna Avis in 1711, a group of alchemists summon a demon in the hopes of gaining eternal life. The demon gives them an elixir of immortality and the method of ending their existence, by "devouring" one another, and grants the summoner Maiza Avaro the formula of the elixir. Maiza and most of the alchemists decide that no one else must become immortal; only Szilard Quates opposes. The next night, the alchemists begin to disappear, devoured by Szilard. Realizing the threat posed by staying together, they scatter across
In New York City during November 1930, Szilard succeeds in recreating the elixir, only to have it stolen by young thug Dallas Genoard. The elixir continually moves around the city because of Dallas, the three mafiosi Gandor brothers, the two eccentric thieves Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent and Firo Prochainezo and his Camorra family, the Martillo, all of whom do not realize what it is. Szilard makes Dallas an incomplete immortal (meaning he still ages) to retrieve the elixir. However, the Gandor, Firo Prochainezo, the Martillo, and Isaac and Miria accidentally consume the elixir. Firo falls in love with Szilard'shomunculus Ennis. After she betrays Szilard by telling Firo how to devour Szilard, Firo uses the knowledge he absorbed from Szilard to save her from death. The Gandor cement Dallas to a barrel at the bottom of the Hudson River to punish him for killing Gandor members.
In late 1931, the Gandor fight the Runorata family for control of the same area. In an attempt to resolve the situation, Luck Gandor asks his adoptive brother Claire Stanfield, the legendary assassin, to travel to New York. Claire agrees to and boards the transcontinental train the Flying Pussyfoot, on which he works as a conductor. The train is hijacked by the Russo and Lemure gangs, and a battle ensues between the two gangs. Meanwhile, Jacuzzi Splot, Nice Holystone and their gang attempt to protect the passengers and fight the hijackers, while Claire assumes the identity of the Rail Tracer, a monster that eats train passengers, and slaughters much of the Russo and the Lemure. The last remaining members of the Lemure are eventually defeated by Jacuzzi's gang. The train arrives in early 1932. Meanwhile, Eve Genoard searches for Dallas, putting her at odds with Luck, who is still angry over the deaths Dallas caused, and she is caught up in the turf war. Luck secretly tells Eve where Dallas is, and with Claire's help, the turf war ends.
In 1933, Dallas is finally pulled out of the river, but shortly after, he is abducted by the Lamia, a group working for Huey Laforet. Meanwhile, Jacuzzi's operations begin to encroach on Gandor and Martillo turf. Representatives from both groups converge on Eve's home, where his gang is staying. At the same time, the Lamia arrive to enlist Jacuzzi's help; they have kidnapped Dallas to prove that immortality is possible, and convince Jacuzzi to join them. Elsewhere in New York, Mist Wall, the largest branch office of the military equipment researcher and developer Nebula, is bombed as according to Huey's plans.
The next year on Alcatraz Island, Ladd Russo, imprisoned for the slaughter aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, Firo, incarcerated for destruction of public property during the Mist Wall bombing, and Isaac, found guilty of various thefts, befriend one another and meet Huey, who was charged with treason and conspiracy years ago. Meanwhile, Christopher Shouldered, Huey's homunculus, and Graham Specter, Ladd Russo's loyal follower, cause trouble in Chicago. After, Jacuzzi and his gang return to Chicago while Ladd attempts to kill Huey.
A 16-episode anime series directed by Takahiro Omori and produced by Brain's Base and Aniplex was adapted from the light novels. The episodes describe the events spanning from 1930 to 1932 in a non-linear fashion, including the recreation of the immortality elixir, the hijacking of the Flying Pussyfoot, Eve's hunt for her brother and the gang war between the Gandor and the Runorata. The first thirteen episodes aired in Japan from July 26, 2007 to November 1, 2007 on WOWOW, a Japanese pay-per-view station, and the final three were released direct-to-DVD. The series made its North American television debut when it started airing on the Funimation Channel September 6, 2010.
Eight DVD compilations were released by Aniplex, each containing two episodes, with the first released on October 24, 2007 and the eighth on May 28, 2008. A Blu-ray boxset was released January 26, 2011. On July 21, 2008, Funimation Entertainment announced that it has licensed Baccano! for a North American release. Four DVD compilations were released, with the first on January 27, 2009 and the fourth on June 16, 2009. A complete DVD collection boxset was released December 29, 2009, and re-released on December 28, 2010 as part of a lower-priced Viridian Collection. A limited edition Blu-ray boxset was released May 17, 2011. The entire English-dubbed series was streamed through Hulu during October 2009 and English-subtitled episodes continue to be streamed, and Funimation streamed subtitled and dubbed episodes through their website. In Australia and New Zealand, the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment, who released the series over four DVDs between June 24, 2009 and October 21, 2009. A boxset was released on March 17, 2010. Baccano! is licensed in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment and was released as a complete boxset on October 11, 2010. The series is aired in the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia on Animax Asia.
A manga adaption titled Baccano! 1931 The Grand Punk Railroad was written by Narita and illustrated by Ginyū Shijin. It was published in MediaWorks' Dengeki Comic Gao! magazine from December 27, 2006 to February 27, 2008 and was collected in two volumes released July 27, 2007 and April 26, 2008. The chapters center around the hijacking of the Flying Pussyfoottrain. The Chinese-language release is published by the Taiwan branch of Kadokawa Media.